PhD and Post-Doctoral Programs in Health Services Research

PhD Program

The objective of our training program is to develop a cadre of active and independent investigators who advance the field of health services research and provide critical evidence for improving the functioning of our health care system. Health services research is the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how organizational structures and processes, financing systems, social and personal behaviors, and regulations affect the quality, cost, and accessibility of health care and ultimately our health and well-being. Students funded on this training grant typically complete the program in 4-5 years. In the first two years, students complete required courses in health policy, health economics, and management; biostatistics and econometrics, and 1 of 3 areas of depth:

(1) Political and Policy Analysis; 

(2) Economic Theory and Application; and 

(3) Organization Theory and Management.

Each student selects one of these areas of depth in which to focus additional coursework (at least 4 courses) and to gain deeper conceptual understanding. At the same time, students are exposed to the other two disciplines in order to gain an interdisciplinary perspective in health services research.

Students also complete readings courses and participate in an interdisciplinary seminar throughout their time in the program. In their third and later years, students work toward completion of their dissertation.

A special feature of the AHRQ Training Program in Health Services Research is a Translating Research into Practice and Policy (TRIPP) experience in which students become familiar with institutions and agencies that are central to the dissemination and translation of their research. This may include several weeks on-site at a relevant institution or agency and is flexible in format to be developed with the student and faculty advisor.

Post-Doctoral Program

Students with previous research backgrounds completed during PhD or MD education are eligible to apply for one- and two-year post-doctoral fellowships. Post-doctoral fellows work closely with faculty on their own research and participate in departmental research seminars.


More than 40 faculty members from the Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing, and Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are involved in the program.

Students are encouraged to become members of the many faculty-directed research projects to develop their skills.

Financial Aid

The Program provides financial support (tuition and stipend) for students through a grant provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. For more information, contact the Graduate Student Affairs coordinators.